I’m passionate about getting people to imagine a better, fairer world, and to share that ‘dream’.
Stanton Moor, is a sacred landscape on a plateau above Matlock in Derbyshire. At its heart is a stone circle known as the Nine Ladies. We can never know for certain what the people of the past did at the stone circles and to me that doesn’t matter. What if the stone circles are offering their help at this critical time? We could view them as portals opening up time, and that by entering the circle we step into a place that goes beyond time. It’s important to work with the energy that’s there, in order to keep them open. It might be helpful to see them as having once been part of a global system, a grid or network that allowed people to tap into power in a different kind of way from how we generally do today. Nevertheless when we step into that timeless place we can tap into those energies.
We are being called both to do practical political work around healing our relationship with the Earth and preventing damage, and also to work on a different level to make it more effective. It’s important to repair the crystalline energy grid because it’s like doing acupuncture to the Earth. Let’s revive and enrich our relationships with ancient circles like the Nine Ladies – or should I say Women? – as well as creating new ones for the 21st century.
A Message from the Stones © Marion McCartney
Since Parkinson’s disease stole much of my mobility I’ve had the choice of either hiding myself away at home or launching myself into the situations which call me, and, as I describe it, ‘crowd surfing life’. In doing so I generate a multiplicity of opportunities for acts of kindness. These weave together, forming part of a web of human kindness that benefits all involved. However brief the encounter is, we feel warmed by it, parting with thanks and smiles. However if I reject offers in the name of independence, the web becomes unraveled.
Part of the success of our species has been due to our tendency towards altruism, looking after every member of the tribe. Rejecting other people weakens us all. In gracefully making and accepting offers of help, we are strengthening connections, contributing to a ripple effect which will help us to find creative ways of facing the challenges ahead. Let’s value independence but let’s choose the much richer idea of inter-dependence to take us forward.
Help © Marion McCartney 2019
A retreat to invoke the spirit of Robin Hood has given me not only powerful and unforgettable experiences, but also a new word, a new concept, which I believe we desperately need in these critical times. As well as seeing ‘Hood’ as one man’s surname I suddenly became aware of the number of words ending in ‘hood’, indicating a condition, state of mind or something one might choose to join. For example we pass through childhood into adulthood, perhaps choosing parenthood, and living in a neighbourhood. So what, I wondered, would ‘Robinhood’ be like?
For me it combines the red and the green: a passion for social, global and ecological justice with love of the outdoors, particularly the greenwood, and a commitment to being out at what I call ‘wild times’, the hours around dawn and dusk. The 21st century Robinhood welcomes diversity, new archetypes: the newcomer from a foreign land, the minstrel- musician, the wily and/or wise elder, the person with a disability, the person with a foot in both camps, to name but a few. Whilst Robin Hood is a heroic individual, Robinhood invites us all to be part of a heroic band, one which also recognises the vital importance of being merry. For if you hear and respond to the call of Robinhood you will be sure of the very best companions in the most vital work. So listen...
Robinhood © Marion McCartney
When I got together with friends to buy a small piece of woodland, I was often asked what we would ‘do with it’ now that we ‘owned’ it. I realised that this attitude had led human beings in dangerous directions. Instead I see myself as being responsible for safeguarding the future of the wood, until it can rejoin the ‘Commons’, land stolen from us all by the Enclosure Acts. So I make these vows to Robin Wood:
~ I will not trudge along your paths talking and texting, but will open all my senses to you.
~ I will devote myself to getting to know you better. If people ask me whether I talk to trees I will answer that first I listen to them.
~ We will be mindful of what we harvest and take away, always considering the long-term effects of what we do.
~ I know we’ll make mistakes but we’ll make sure we learn from them.
~ For me you will be both temple and playground, a place to sit around campfires, on tree platforms, and in hammocks, to use mirrors and magnifiers to help us to see things through new eyes and new perspectives, to laugh with joy and swing with abandon.
~ We vow to make this woodland a place for celebration and dedication, for co-operation and a real sense of belonging which links us to everything, everywhere.
A Playground and a Temple © Marion McCartney
Many years ago, or perhaps just yesterday, three travellers walked into a village asking for a little food. The villagers, accustomed to scarcity, assured them that they had none to spare.
“In that case,” said the strangers, “we’ll make stone soup.”
Watched by the villagers they put three smooth stones into a cooking pot and added water.
“This is going to be a fine soup,” one of the travellers pronounced, “but a pinch of salt and a few mixed herbs would make it wonderful.” One villager thought she might have just a little and rushed off to get it. Gradually more and more was added and the villagers sat down with the newcomers to a feast.
The next morning the villagers brought food for the travellers to take on their journey. They thanked them for sharing their secret but the travellers turned to the crowd and said, “There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast.” And on they went, never to be seen again. However the villagers had a whole new recipe – for more than just soup.
So do we present this as a story about clever tricksters or about the magic of sharing? By such choices we create our future.
Stone Soup retelling © Marion McCartney
Forty years ago in 1977 two Voyager space probes were launched, heading for interstellar space. On board each of them was a message intended to communicate to extraterrestrials a story of the world of humans on Earth. This took the form of golden records (like the LPs of the time). The US president at the time, Jimmy Carter, wrote: “This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, science, images, music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.” It felt like putting a message into a bottle and sending it into the cosmic ocean.
Do find out more about Voyager and the Golden Records on Wikipedia. If we were to send out a new version, what pictures and sounds from our world would you include? What message would you send? What if this is the year that, against all the odds, a faint radio signal is picked up here on Earth...
If you feel inspired to write something, do send it to us so that we can put it on the website, or even include it in next year’s diary.
Voyagers © Marion McCartney 2015
I’ve been collecting people’s dreams of a better, fairer world, because we need to put these visions into words. Please help me reach my target of 1001 by sending yours to me at dreamthefuture.org.uk and the Earth Pathways website – They can be of any length, but here I’ve chosen a few of the shorter ones:
I dream of a world . . .
. . .where all human beings respect one another and the natural environment, and seek happiness in experiences, relationships and sharing.
. . . where in both easy times and hard times people turn to each other, not against each other.
. . . where everyone has so much spirit that they choose calm over conflict.
. . . where people have stopped being what they think they should be and find joy love and freedom in being who they really are.
. . . where everyone lives together in peace, abundance and self-awareness. . . . where we no longer look towards material possessions for happiness and find it within ourselves and each other.
. . . where the love of our beautiful planet is at the heart of what we do and the decisions we make.
Dream the Future © Marion McCartney